Matt Waldman’s RSP NFL Lens examines a 67-yard touchdown pass from Jared Goff that covers 61 yards from the pitch point to the catch point.
Quarterback arm strength is overrated. You only need enough to ride the NFL ride and with the exception of about 1-2 plays a month, the rest is usually superfluous. Even in these isolated situations, there was often a more efficient or wise solution available to the quarterback.
I only look at practical applications of arm strength. There are various ways one must examine the dimensions of arm strength; the vertical game is only one of them. A player who has good arm strength for the vertical game is Jared Goff.
But if you listen to the “fan-alysts,” Sean McVay was actually the Rams quarterback via video game controller. McVay’s offense game Goff easy opportunities and he used the radio transmission into Goff’s helmet in a unique way that transformed Goff from an imminent bust to a competent quarterback.
Of course, McVay’s offense and coaching helped Goff. So did the offensive line and receiver upgrades. However, let’s not go overboard: McVay implemented a good process and supporting cast around a talented quarterback.
I had to say it because there are (otherwise) observant and intelligent people who’ve not truly watched Goff and rely on half-baked analysis. A telltale sign that they’ve been body-snatched is when they discuss Goff’s physical talents.
This leads us back to arm talent. Check out this 67-yard touchdown pass. Goff delivers his ball off a play-action boot and it’s 61 yards in stride to Sammy Watkins, splitting the Giants’ zone for a touchdown.
It’s an easy throw off a hitch with the back foot in alignment with the target point. And the throw as the velocity and placement that even Sammy Watkins didn’t anticipate arriving in stride because he actually has to extend last-second to make the reception.
Drew Brees’ practical range is 50-55 yards. Matt Ryan’s is typically 40-45 yards. Brees, Ryan, and Goff are intelligent quarterbacks with skills to execute rhythm passing plays in and outside the pocket.
Although Brandin Cooks lacks a full-service game that Sammy Watkins potentially provides any team, the Rams realize that Goff has the vertical skill to let a Cooks run under the target without forcing a contested catch. When a quarterback can do this for Cooks — and Tom Brady couldn’t at his age — it will activate the most dangerous part of Cooks’ game and minimize one of his greatest weakness — winning contested plays at the catch point.
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